A new diktat by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has created a furore in the city's cricketing fraternity. The association has come up with a new ruling that says it has barred clubs and players affiliated to the body from playing unauthorised tournaments held in the city.
The MCA has issued a letter with the signatures of the joint secretaries Nitin Dalal and PV Shetty to its 350-plus clubs stating that "appropriate action will be taken against the club and player".
"It has been brought to our notice that some of the member clubs and players have participated in unauthorised tournaments. You are requested to confirm whether the tournament is approved by Mumbai Cricket Association before participating. You are hereby advised to refrain from participating in any unauthorised tournaments in Mumbai or Thane district failing which the association may take appropriate action against the club and player which please note," the notice said.
The reason behind MCA's stand is not to give any preference to unauthorised tournaments conducted without the permission of the association.
"We have been receiving complaints over this issue for some time, hence we decided to go ahead with this ruling. We are not against genuine tournaments, but if they come and take special permission from us or get affiliation. Hence we decided this in the last managing committee, however, it is not aimed at any particular tournament," said Shetty.
"First of all it's illegal if you don't take permission. Then, it clashes with our tournaments. It is also difficult to get grounds when these tournaments are played. Players give priority to these tournaments than to the MCA tournaments or their clubs. There are many illegal tournaments going on for the youngsters too that are not following MCA rules," said an official on the condition of anonymity. "These tournaments have players, officials and grounds affiliated to MCA. If something happens, who will take the responsibility?" he added.
Meanwhile, a coach whose players are playing in one of the tournaments said it is a rude stance by MCA. "The youngsters who are not in the MCA camps are getting good opportunities to play games. We don't want to go against MCA, but it is not a bad thing that we are doing," said the coach.
An organiser of a T20 tournament thrashed MCA for the ruling. "We are not disturbing the MCA schedule. Whatever tournaments we organise are only after the end of the season. We want to give opportunity to the youngsters, hence we organise. It's not that we are misguiding players. Everybody has a right to play. It is also not that we are into corrupt activities like match-fixing or spot-fixing," said the organiser who wished to withhold his name.